Melvin Townsend Punta Gorda Florida man with lengthy criminal rap identified as individual punched by Mike Tyson after harassing boxing great on JetBlue. Lawyer threatens lawsuit.
Play stupid games win stupid prizes …
The man captured on video being punched (see below) by Mike Tyson after allegedly harassing the boxing legend aboard a JetBlue airplane has been identified as a drug user/seasoned thief/conman with a revolving criminal record.
Melvin George Townsend III, 36, of Punta Gorda, Florida, has served 20- and 15-month prison sentences for a variety of crimes, including possession of Oxycodone, burglary, grand theft, fraud, and trafficking stolen property, according to a records search. In one 2018 incident he stole a trailer by trespassing and hitching the unit it to his pickup, reported TMZ, which was the first media outlet to identify him.
Townsend was last released from a Florida prison in July of 2020 after serving 15 months of a 25-month sentence for that incident and his use of a fraudulent personal ID. He previously did time for trafficking stolen property in 2009 and 2010.
The incident which led to Tyson, 55, punching Townsend at a San Francisco airport prior to take off — despite repeated overtures to stop ‘harassing’ the sporting great — has since led to Tyson’s lawyer exploring whether to file a suit against the former heavyweight boxer.
Video captures former boxer Mike Tyson reportedly punching another passenger onboard JetBlue flight from San Francisco Airport. https://t.co/2CrSDT25r0
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No charges against boxer
‘To state the obvious, as one of the greatest fighters of all time, Mr. Tyson should have exercised greater restraint before using his hands on an overly excited fan,’ Townsend’s attorney, Matt Morgan, told TMZ.
Continuing, ‘[Townsend has] not made a determination on what his next steps will be. He hired counsel due to his physical injuries, the overwhelming nature of this event and the associated media inquiries.’
To date, no charges have been brought against Tyson.
Video from Wednesday’s assault shows Tyson punching Townsend before the JetBlue flight had taken off from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale, leaving the Florida man with a bloody forehead.
However, a representative for the Brooklyn-born boxer claims he was reacting to Townsend, an unruly passenger who had been harassing him and actually threw a water bottle at Tyson.
‘Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat,’ a representative for Tyson told the dailymail.
Townsend, through his attorney, has denyied throwing a water bottle.
Situation which could have been avoided
‘Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan,’ Morgan told TMZ. ‘When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial.
‘At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner,’ Morgan continued. ‘This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.’
San Francisco police did detain two individuals from the flight, but declined to identify either. Video of the incident was passed on to San Mateo County police who are now investigating.
JetBlue to date has declined media overtures for comment.